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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010
(Redirected to 2 entertain article)

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

This article is written from the Real World point of view. TARDIS

2 entertain (more formally, the 2 entertain Group) is a leading British video and music producer and distributor. It is the parent of 2 entertain Video, which in turn was created by the merger of VCI Video and BBC Video. As part of the terms of the merger, BBC Worldwide — BBC Video's parent — achieved a controlling stake in 2 entertain Video, and BBC Video nominally retained its corporate identity as a division within 2 entertain Video.

Since 2004, 2 entertain Video have released Doctor Who, Torchwood, K-9 and Company, and The Sarah Jane Adventures DVDs worldwide. These DVDs have been supplemented by original documentaries commissioned and produced by the larger 2 entertain Group.

Contents

Distribution

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BBC Video

BBC Video began its life as division of BBC Enterprises, the forerunner to BBC Worldwide. It was tasked with releasing Doctor Who onto home video cassette. Fans attending the 1983 Longleat convention were polled to determine the first title to be released. The Tomb of the Cybermen topped the poll, but, as that story would not be recovered till 1992, BBC Video elected to release another Cybermen adventure instead. Thus, Revenge of the Cybermen became the first Doctor Who adventure released to home video.

A BBC Video logo from the mid 1990s

While The Five Doctors had an illustrated cover, the releases up to and including 1989 were primarily photographic in nature. During the 1980s the stories released were also edited into a movie-length format (similar to the version of the series usually aired by the Public Broadcasting Service in the US at the time), and sometimes contained other minor cuts. For instance, until the late 1990s, the early William Hartnell stories would also be edited to remove the 'Next Episode' captions that led into the next story. Carnival of Monsters was accidentally released with the 1981 edit instead of the unedited 1973 version and the episodic version of Death to the Daleks released in 1995 was also slightly edited. These edits prompted complaints from fans.

BBC Video ceased its VHS releases of Doctor Who in 2003, by which time the series' release to DVD had been underway for four years. In total, the division spent 20 years releasing Doctor Who on VHS.

Nevertheless, the BBC Video logo remains a fixture of all Region 1 DVD releases of Whoniverse-related shows.

BBC DVD

"BBC DVD"' has been the brand identity seen on BBC Video DVDs released in Region 2 since the 2004 creation of 2 entertain Video. The first DVD to receive this branding was The Visitation. Prior to this release, the BBC's Region 2 DVDs went out under a simple BBC logo. The mark has never been used on Region 1 or Region 4 DVDs.

Production

Restoration

Beginning with the March 1992 release of Terror of the Autons, BBC Video formed an alliance with the independent Doctor Who Restoration Team. The Team were at first focused on the singular goal of restoring colour to certain episodes of the Jon Pertwee era which had come to exist only in their monochromatic form within the BBC Archives. After successfully restoring Autons, The Dæmons, and Doctor Who and the Silurians, the Team then turned their attention to other ways in which they could improve the master tapes within the BBC Archives. These improvement projects — which ranged from offering a slightly extended cut of Battlefield to wide-ranging cleanup of most black-and-white episodes to the insertion of updated special effects shots — were commissioned by BBC Video. The relationship between BBC Video and the Restoration Team continued after BBC Video began releasing DVD versions of its stories.

With the advent of 2 entertain, the Restoration Team continued to be contracted for each new DVD release of the 1963 version of Doctor Who. It is now generally expected by fans that each new DVD release will offer a "better" copy of the adventure versus its form when originally aired. Even episodes which were substantially restored for VHS release typically undergo a further "cleaning" when re-released on DVD. 2 entertain have also been a bit more aggressive about the inclusion of new special effects shots provided by the Restoration Team. Even Earthbound stories like The Time Warrior have been allowed a budget for special effects enhancements by 2 entertain.

So far, in all cases where new effects have been created for a story -- for example, The Ark in Space, which had new computer-generated shots of Nerva Beacon created -- viewers have been given the option of watching the story with these enhanced effects, or with the original effects.

New Material

Main article: Documentary

Bonus material has been included on every Doctor Who DVD, even if just in the form of audio commentary and an "info text" subtitle track. These features were a part of BBC Video's budgets, and continue to be a part of 2 entertain Video's plans for the Doctor Who line. 2 entertain, however, have arguably been more aggressive in their pursuit of bonus material. Since 2004, at least one newly-produced documentary has appeared on each serial's DVD release. It is usual for this documentary to be a short film which explains the making of that particular serial. However, many DVDs released by 2 entertain have included additional material, perhaps giving an overview of a companion's tenure on the show, or a species' various appearances. With the releases of The Time Meddler, Black Orchid, Delta and the Bannermen and The War Games, 2 entertain have embarked on a 7-part documentary detailing the history of Doctor Who comics. Sometimes, explanations of particular aspects of production, such as set design or musical scoring, are included.

Future

As of the end of 2009, the majority of available episodes from the 1963-89 series had been released by BBC Video/2 Entertain in the DVD format, which by this time was slowly being supplanted by the higher-resolution Blu-Ray format (a format that will require classic-series episodes to undergo further extensive restoration and remastering in order to be acceptable for release). In October 2009, Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team indicated that DVD-format releases of the classic series are expected to continue until at least November 2013, indicating there are no immediate plans for the format to be retired.[1] The fact Blu-Ray players are, at present, backwards-compatible with DVD, though picture and sound quality varies depending on the type of television used, has made it less-urgent that Blu-Ray versions of the classic series be issued. Blu-Ray editions of Torchwood have been available for several years, however, and beginning with Planet of the Dead, new-series Doctor Who stories are being released in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats.

Releases

VHS

See main article: List of BBC VHS releases

DVD

See main article: List of BBC DVD releases

External links


This article uses material from the "2 entertain" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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